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Lost Souls at Xmas

(21 Posts)
outofpractice Wed 13-Aug-03 18:30:04

My parents (with whom we have spent every Xmas so far) has just said that they are going to be at my sister's overseas this year. We don't get on and there is no way ds and I could join them. I am wondering what else to do. We could go up to my parents' house in Manchester on our own, and do the usual Xmas pantomimes and outings and rituals, but it seems stupid and sad to be putting up a tree and cooking a huge meal for just 2 of us. I could try and invite myself to a friend's place, but most of my friends don't have children, and just go to their parents' houses for an adult gathering, and of the 3 friends that have children, none have room for us to stay and I would feel like we were intruding on a unit family gathering (I mean none of them would be having big parties with lots of relatives and friends). Can any one think of where ds and I could go, where there would be other young children and some festivities? We could go abroad but not unless it is fairly cheap. We could go somewhere where they don't have Xmas at all, but is that unfair to ds?

tamum Wed 13-Aug-03 18:37:42

It won't be that cheap, but the usual child-friendly places in the UK like the Old Bell, Calcot Manor and Woolley Grange all do Christmas packages that sound lovely, with Santa visits and carol services and mince pies. You'd have to hope you struck lucky with the other guests, I suppose, but it might be worth looking into. I think Disneyland Paris opens over Christmas too? Hope you have a lovely time.

princesspeahead Wed 13-Aug-03 18:40:08

Would the family friendly hotels be any good? I'd imagine somewhere like moonfleet manor would be lovely at xmas and also be full of other families escaping xmas at home for one reason or another. also if it is a family friendly hotel they would probably do lovely events - eg santa visits etc, which ds would like.Abroad would also be good, but most hotels really rack up their rates over xmas and need you to stay at least 7 nights and then there is the airfare as well...

How old is your ds? I had one xmas in saudi arabia where not only did they not celebrate it, but it was illegal to have any christmas stuff up at home etc. It was a bit depressing. I was 11.

princesspeahead Wed 13-Aug-03 18:40:46

great minds tamum!

tamum Wed 13-Aug-03 19:00:33

Spooky eh

sis Wed 13-Aug-03 20:20:47

Outofpractice - if you decide to go self catering, the blurb from Bruern stable cottages sounds really lovely - especially over Christmas. Their website is here - it is expensive but looks really gorgeous ( I haven't been but I think some other mumsnetters have) and they can leave really lovely sounding meals in the fridge/freezer so you don't have to cook!!! Take us with you...

bossykate Wed 13-Aug-03 20:23:48

agree with all the suggestions so far, oop, it's what i would do if i wanted a break for ds and me solo. there's also the childcare option to consider - you might get a couple of hours to yourself...

outofpractice Thu 14-Aug-03 10:51:53

Thanks for advice. I had a look at a few of them. Has anyone been to Peebles Hydrohotel? Why is it always cheaper to go abroad than to go away in Britain?

Jenie Thu 14-Aug-03 11:26:26

I don't know about anyone else but I'd love to have friends (with or without children) over for xmas. My dp does all the cooking so this wouldn't be an issue, we have no set in stone rules and have both always felt as though xmas is a time for both friends and family.

We usually have between 7 to 10 people sat around at xmas dinner, although as yet we haven't arranged for anyone to be with us. I should get a move on before all the guests are taken!

tamum Fri 15-Aug-03 13:37:23

Hi again outofpractice. I haven't been to Peebles Hydro myself, but live fairly close, so I know quite a few people who have been. It's apparently good in many ways, nice kids' buffet, lovely pool, riding stables, childcare and so on. It's much bigger than the Woolley grange-type places, so less intimacy, but that might not be such a bad thing! Someone I know who went recently said it's worth asking for a room away from the centre where all the functions are as they go on quite late and get quite noisy. There's also Crieff Hydro a bit further North; I've been there and it was good but let down by the food, though friends who have been more recently say it was fine. HTH!

codswallop Sun 17-Aug-03 22:02:21

Stay at home and snuggle up with just you. We have vowed never to go away again to parents etc. Its great ! You can do what you like when and apend the money on lovely stuff to eat and play with.

outofpractice Wed 03-Sep-03 13:04:34

We just got back from a lovely holiday in Ireland, and the thought of just staying at home hanging around is tempting, but I think we may feel lonely. The plan to go to a country hotel is totally unfeasible, as when I rang up, they have no deals at all for lone parents, and expect me to pay two adult rates and they don't allow children into the evening dinners so I'd have to get a babysitter each dinner time! However, quite a few of the skiing companies have single parents deals and I would quite like to learn, only having been twice before. However, that is also fairly expensive. I'm still unsure what to do, as codswallop is right, that I could have a really deluxe time at home with all the money I saved by staying at home.

Lambchops Wed 03-Sep-03 13:12:46

Some of the Haven, British Holidays, Bourne Leisure type holidays open their parks at Christmas. Usually quite cheap although they do up the prices at popular times. These places are absolutely full of all sorts of family groups. You can get brochures from any travel agent.

LIZS Wed 03-Sep-03 13:24:20


I think that some of the family hotels may be open at that time of year, even if they otherwise close October - March, and they'd offer babysitting, clubs and company for your son as well as yourself. Depending on his age, skiing would be fun too but remember the costs do add up.

If you stayed at home could you perhaps have friends over in the afternoon for tea. Nothing too elaborate but a bit of company and nibbles.

Bobsmum Wed 03-Sep-03 13:25:08

Peebles and Creiff Hydros are both lovely - faded grandeur kind of thing. Went to a wedding a Creiff last year and it was gorgeous - nice food too.

tamum Wed 03-Sep-03 13:36:13

Outofpractice, when we went to Crieff Hydro we took our ds down to dinner with us without any problem, and I think there's a brasserie too now, which seems to be meant for parents and children to eat together. They also have self-catering bits, which might give you more flexibility but still get the atmosphere. The Christmas break bit is here ; if your son counted as one person then you would just get charged for two people in a double room, presumably? I know it's not cheap, but it's a lot less than the Woolley Grange options.
I don't know whether you live in a city, but if you do stay at home, maybe you could book some nice treats like a panto on Boxing Day?

WedgiesMum Wed 03-Sep-03 14:04:23

What about Radfords at Dawlish Warren - they do packages at Christmas and are a parents with children only hotel (ie you can't book in if you don't have kids). Lots of stuff for the kids to do, entertainment and the food is good too. And the building looks like it would look lovely at Christmas (we've been in September). They're on the internet, but not sure of the address - they also advertise in parenting mags.

janinlondon Wed 03-Sep-03 14:38:01

Wedgiesmum, I'm pretty sure Radfords has closed?

WedgiesMum Thu 04-Sep-03 13:03:59

Noooo! Surely not - oh no!!! It was brill too.....

wobblymum Thu 04-Sep-03 14:50:20

Don't despair wedgiesmum - I've just found Radfords advertising on (sorry can't do links). They don't say they have a website but the phone no is on there.

wobblymum Thu 04-Sep-03 14:54:01

Bad wobblymum - look at your google searches better!!!! (don't worry, I'm just going mad!)

Have found another link, radfords website is They have closed, but only till 'spring 2003'. Now IMO, we've gone past that so I don't know what they're doing. Doesn't look like they've closed permanently but don't know - sorry!

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